What do they Gather? - Awana International Canada

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What do they Gather?

What kids learn about scripture from you

Filed Under: Reach KidsEquip LeadersThe Five - Core Values of a Healthy Ministry

 

One of my experiences in life has been as an interviewer. Because interviewing was part of my job for many years, I believe I have learned to do it well. Although due diligence at times requires evaluation tools and job specific questions, my experience is that the best interviewers are ones who have learned to listen to their intuition. I recall several occasions when a candidate performed well during the formal interview but something just didn’t feel right for me.  I could tell stories about obvious blunders like the time I had a first introduction with someone in a quiet foodcourt. I was a  young lady of no more than 30 at the time. When a male passerby  made a rude gesture in my direction and the interviewee laughed and nodded in acknowledgement I knew his chances were slim to none. More often though, the clues are subtle things that can be gathered from facial and emotional expressions, inflection of voice and body language. Needless to say, when my intuition told me something that was contrary to what the interviewee was telling me, I would be hard pressed to make a decision in their favour. 

 

Intuition is the gathering of sensory information that leads to understanding without the need for reasoning. 

 

The word gather is especially important when it comes to kids. This is the way they learn and form opinions, sometimes such strong opinions that as adults they don’t even know why they have them. Have you ever met someone who has a strong and negative opinion about church but no particular experience that led to that? Children form opinions that are not necessarily based on reality, because of what they gather from the people around them. This means that How you teach is just as important as what you teach. 

 

What do kids gather about Scripture from you? 

 

Do kids gather that God’s Word is special to us? 

We love God and his Word to us. 

 

Do kids gather that God’s Word is relational? 

God’s Word helps us develop relationship with Him. 

 

Do kids gather that God’s Word is transforming?

God uses his Word to bring about change in us.

 

Consider Tommy who is just 10 years old. It’s his turn to recite his verse. 

 

Tommy: Be imitators of God,  as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

 

Leader (Scenario 1): Nope Try again. You missed a few words so I can’t give you a candy yet. One more try.

 

Tommy tries again but keeps missing the few words that the leader is referring to. She gives a couple of hints but Tommy just can’t remember. 

 

Consider the change in the following leader response. What difference would this response make for Tommy. 

 

Leader (Senario 2): Tommy that was awesome and almost exactly right. I really love that verse because it tells us how much Jesus must love us and it reminds me how we are supposed to love other people. Do you know what word you missed? 

 

Tommy (Scenario 2): I can never remember that word. 

 

Leader: It’s the word fragrant. Maybe you can’t remember it because you don’t know what it means? Let me help you with that one. 

 

Leader explains the word and prompts Tommy to go again with the word. 

 

Tips 

  • Read in a way that is true to the genre. This will help capture attention. It’s okay to read poetically if you are reading poetry and dramatically if you are reading about a battle. 
  • Don’t treat verse memory as boring route practice
  • Try memorizing verses along with the kids to demonstrate that this is a practice worth working on 
  • When a verse challenges or convicts you, consider sharing this
  • Show enthusiasm about learning scripture 

 

I pray that the kids in your program gather from you that scripture is special, life transforming and a bridge to relationship with God. 

Kerry Provost

Kerry works with the team across Canada. She is a resource for Awana Canada volunteers, advocates and directors as they work to reach kids, equip leaders and change the world for Christ.

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